Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baseball, Brad & Benefit

Paris and I were lucky enough to attend the Moneyball Premiere in Oakland Monday night.

Moneyball is Brad Pitt's new film about the Oakland A's 2002 season. Pitt plays Billy Beane, the A's general manager, who is forced by budget constraints to take a controversial, statistics-based approach to field his team. The movie is based on the book by Michael Lewis, who also wrote The Blindside.

The event, held at the Paramount Theatre, benefited Children's Hospital Oakland. Once we got inside, we positioned ourselves adjacent to the front door and greeted Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who I've loved since The Talented Mr. Ripley, and many of the current players, including David DeJesus. Hometown hero Sully was there as were some suburban mommies. The theatre lobby was packed, not surprisingly, and admission bought as many designer cocktails as one could consume during the hour before the movie.

I was wearing a skirt, heels and a lot more eye makeup than I usually wear, courtesy of Paris' heavy hand. She wore heels and white jeans. The A's Wives were channeling The Housewives of New Jersey. The majority of men wore jacket and tie, and were accompanied by women in black cocktail dresses with Louboutins or Tabitha Simmons.

It had been many years since I'd been to the Paramount Theatre. In fact, Paris and I were last there to see The Wiggles. The 1930s building remains a stunning piece of Art Deco architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Even Paris commented on the grandeur of the bathrooms.

Fortunately, Dave and Paris did not end up on the cutting room floor. The scene they shot as extras made the big screen version. This is Dave's second movie and her first.

The premiere boiled down to this: the director introduced and thanked the contributors, some of whom he brought up on stage. Enter Brad Pitt to deafening (and well-deserved) applause. Then they rolled the film. We watched it and then we left.

It's a good movie. I like baseball and I like the A's. And I feel a smidge romantic about baseball after seeing this film, the same way you do after your team wins the series.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Olympic Seoul Chicken

Liberty had this for dinner at her friend Emma Vaccaro's house and raved about it. It is very good and easy to make, too.

Adapted from Arthur Schwartz, author of Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food and Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking.

¼ cup (60ml) rice vinegar (unseasoned)
3 tablespoons (45ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
1-inch (3cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
8 chicken thighs, skinned
10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1½ teaspoon chili powder (I used cochutgaru, but any will do)
a handful of chopped green onions, including the dark green part

1. Mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ginger.

2. Heat enough oil in a large skillet until it just covers the bottom. When it’s hot and shimmering, sauté the chicken thighs until well-browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.

4. Pour in the vinegar mixture, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until done. While the thighs are cooking, turn them a couple of times in the marinade.

5. Once they’re done, remove the cover, add the green onions, and cook for another minute or so, until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve with rice, kimchi, toasted nori, or any other accompaniments. Also good with a pile of steamed green beans drizzled with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I like to build.

There's exciting news beyond the seven pair of shoes I bought this summer. There. It's out for the whole blogosphere to see. I demonstrated exceptional self-restraint in Italy.

And now the scoop: I've gone back in house. This is also known as taking a full-time job or becoming a company employee. It certainly wasn't my plan but this company looked like so much fun and I have a big opportunity to make a difference in that technodweeby sort of way.

The company is called SOASTA. It rhymes with toaster, if you're from Boston. A former colleague referred me.

Two interesting opportunities presented themselves. Although they were night and day in the marketing world, they were both at the intersection of good money and things I enjoy. In the end my brother said something that made sense: You like start ups. I do like start ups. I did three successful ones before The Pinks were born. I like to build. To create. To sit at the table.

Today I begin my new journey.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Smells of Summer

Summer is nearly over on the calendar. The kids are back in school so the season is over in their minds. I will miss the smells.

Peaches. On the counter one day before spoiling.

Sun baked babies. Sun-warmed children covered in sunscreen, slightly sweaty.

Freshly cut grass. Followed by sneezing.

Moisture, slightly sweet. In the air before the morning fog burns off.

Basil. Walking through the Farmer's Market.

Cleats. Soccer practice has begun.

Roasting tomatoes. Tomatoes arrived on the late side this season and we are buried with them now.

Air conditioned air. The slightly sweet odor in your car.